Hollerado and Arkells at Horseshoe Tavern for Bookie's Holiday Bash 2009 (Photos and Review)
29-Dec-2009 10:30 PM
Contributed by: pete
Just about the time I started putting together my list of Top 50 Albums Of The Decade, I found out that Hollerado was going to be playing Bookie's Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe Tavern. I missed them the last time they were in Toronto, and since then they've won the $250,000 Big Money Shot contest, and subsequently did a tour through China. In fact, they played a gig in Hong Kong on December 20th, and still somehow managed to get to the Horseshoe on time on December 22nd for Bookie's Annual Holiday Bash. It was after I discovered Hollerado was playing that I found out the night was going to be headlined by Arkells playing a set of Motown covers. Excellent combination!
The first time I saw Hollerado was almost exactly a year ago, and it was one of those shows where it started out with "who are these guys" and ended up with "that was awesome". Since then, I've downloaded their free album called Record In A Bag and listened to it endlessly (Hint: It's still free, so click the link to download it). It's a great indie rock album with a pile of good songs, and as a result it has ended up in my Top 50 Albums Of The Decade (50-41). In addition to fun rock songs, they've got a stage show that is fuller and more powerful than the recordings.
Their attitude is casual, as can be determined by having a look at their website. They've been known to share drinks out of their van, but at The Horseshoe they used a different drinking strategy. Part way through the show they brought out a stack of Dixie cups with a variety of hand drawn graphics on them and handed them out to audience members. The instructions were to bring the cups back to the bar after the show and share a round of shots with them.
I noticed there wasn't a set list for the show, probably an indication that they've toured the material so much lately that a set list would be redundant. Either way, we got to hear a good number of songs off of Record In A Bag, including the awesome Americanarama, Fake Drugs, and they closed with an extended version of Do The Doot Da Doot Doo that had the audience yelling along and bouncing like mad. In case I'm not making it clear, Hollerado has worked their way into the small number of bands that I would consider my favourite bands to go see, so I'm already looking forward to the next time.
Info: Hollerado | Connect: MySpace
Media: Americanarama (mp3, video), Record In A Bag (zip)
Speaking of bands that are among my favourites, the Arkells were up next. It had been less than a month since I saw them last, at that time playing two sold-out nights back-to-back at Lee's Palace. The show at the Horseshoe was intentionally different, with the set consisting of a number of Motown covers, including their amazing rendition of Tears Of A Clown (one of the more hilarious names for a song ever concocted). They also played a cover of Ms. Jackson (originally by OutKast) that I also saw them perform during Busking For Change. The difference was this time the audience was considerably larger and singing along with a vengeance.
They are all amazing players, and so the covers sounded appropriately owned by Arkells. In addition, there were a few surprises, including having Josh Tranger from the Sam Roberts Band join them on stage for a song, as well as Branko Scekic from Dinosaur Bones come out and do some hilarious Christmas rap. There was a massive sing-a-long to Don't Let Me Down, both on and off stage, and they closed the night with four of their own songs. Awesome Tuesday night.
Info: Arkells | Connect: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Media: Pullin' Punches (video), The Ballad of Hugo Chavez (video)
The Order Of Good Cheer
Opening the night was The Order Of Good Cheer, a band that takes its name from the event of the same name that was founded in 1606 by Samuel de Champlain. The original Order Of Good Cheer was created to liven spirits during the long Canadian winter, and I have to imagine that's exactly why this band of four decided to use the same name. Fronted by Francesco Guidoccio (vocals, bass) who took the stage wearing an all-white suit, and with Chris Greenough (guitar) who is also a key member of Pilot Speed, the band plays Canadian-ified Southern Rock about good times, barbeques, and transvestites.
Info: The Order Of Good Cheer | Connect: MySpace, Facebook